THE full programme for this year’s Fringe by the Sea festival in North Berwick goes on sale today (Thursday), along with tickets for all the acts appearing this summer.

The festival, which was started in 2008, has grown from a dozen events over four days to a 10-day-long celebration, with performances from the likes of Texas, Candi Staton, Happy Mondays, Frankie Boyle and more taking place between August 5 and 14.

Following the success of the Big Top in the Lodge Grounds last year, that venue will now be the main hub of the festival, with other locations around the town, such as the Marine Hotel and the Scottish Seabird Centre, also hosting events.

The varied music programme includes Texas, Happy Mondays, Ibibio Sound Machine, Candi Staton with support from Brooke Combe, Barbara Dickson, The Hacienda House Party, Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham, The Manfreds, and Bombskare, as well as jazz from Philip Contini, JazzMain Quartet and local artist Hamish McGregor.

For the first time, Fringe by the Sea will also be welcoming the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) as the festival’s first orchestra performing the music of John Williams (Harry Potter, Star Wars, ET, Superman). Yoko Pwno, DJ Refracta, Miracle Glass Company, Dean Owens and Wojtek the Bear also feature.

Comedians Frankie Boyle, Clive Anderson, Milton Jones, Angela Barnes, Troy Hawke and Hal Cruttenden will all take to the stage, with festival favourites Simon Evans and Fred MacAulay returning to the town.

The literary element of the festival has grown this year, with Alexander McCall Smith, Val McDermid, Pat Nevin, Chitra Ramaswamy, Paula Hawkins, Alex Renton, and The Boozy Book Group with Alastair McKay all welcomed.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Mollie Hughes, Ruth Davidson, Jay Rayner, Esme Young and ex-CIA agent turned entrepreneur Rupal Patel will also give live talks.

Family-friendly activities will take place including Comedy Club 4 Kids, model-making with Aardman, author Pamela Butchart, music with Major Minor Music Club and Monski Mouse Disco, Samsam Bubbleman, and learning how to illustrate with Eilidh Muldoon and The Beano.

Visitors can view North Berwick from new angles with daily Walk The Toun and Silent Adventure Disco.

The festival’s first Storyteller in Residence, Lorna Hill from Dunbar, will also be welcomed.

39,000 visitors

Last year, the festival brought more than £3m of economic benefit to East Lothian, according to an independent report by MKA Economics. This represents a doubling (103 per cent increase) of the 2019 figure (£1,546,609).

More than 39,000 people visited the festival in 2021, with 25,000 purchasing tickets to one of 200 events and an estimated 14,000 attending free events.

In 2019, visitors totalled 19,500, with 95 per cent rating the festival either excellent or very good.

Funding and support from EventScotland, East Lothian Council and other partners including Scottish Seabird Centre, Shaw Marketing, Signman, Scotland Loves Local, Gilsland Park, Citizen Tickets, The List, North Berwick Trust and McInroy & Wood has also been critical to the festival’s return, say organisers.

Rory Steel, festival director, said: “As ever, the team at Fringe by the Sea has really pushed the boat out to create an exciting and diverse programme.

“We are so thankful for the support of the community in our move to the Lodge Grounds and we hope to have repaid their faith with a line-up that’s going to get feet dancing, hearts chuckling and minds opened.

“We are especially proud of our strong community strands and urge visitors to seek them out and support our local talent.”

Visit for more information and tickets.